Recommendations for N00b try at DIY - Hardware

This is a discussion on Recommendations for N00b try at DIY - Hardware ; I am going to try my hand at building a pc. I think I can handle the mechanical chore of screwing it all together, but am trying to make sense of the vast array of mobo's out there. I am ...

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Thread: Recommendations for N00b try at DIY

  1. Recommendations for N00b try at DIY

    I am going to try my hand at building a pc. I think I can handle the
    mechanical chore of screwing it all together, but am trying to make sense of
    the vast array of mobo's out there. I am looking for board in the <100.00
    range that will work with the major cpu's and be compatible with Linux. I
    want to keep the project under $500. Any recommendations? Also, are there
    any other h/w *gotcha's* I should be aware of before I start collecting the
    h/w? Do the mobos work with both 64 and 32 bit chips? I would prefer 32
    bit, but could I upgrade to a 64 bit chip later on? What kind of interfaces
    for peripherals should I be looking for?

    *R* *H*




    --
    It is a poor judge who cannot award a prize.

  2. Re: Recommendations for N00b try at DIY

    Rockinghorse Winner staggered into the Black Sun and said:
    > I am looking for board in the < [$]100.00 range that will work with
    > the major [CPUs]


    Intel or AMD. Pick one. Boards that work with one won't work with the
    other, as they use different socket types.

    > I want to keep the project under $500. Any recommendations?


    The motherboard is the most complicated part of an x86, the biggest pain
    in the arse to replace if it breaks, and the hardest thing to diagnose
    problems with. That means you don't buy a cheap-ass one if you value
    your time. I've had decent luck with Abit and Tyan ATX form factor
    boards. If I were you, I'd be careful about buying a mATX board--the 2
    mATX boards I've had were completely lousy. And *don't* buy anything
    from PCChips.

    FWIW, I specced out a system that's better than my current desktop for
    $540 from unitedmicro.com . No monitor, keyboard, mouse, or speakers
    though--I already have those things.

    > Do the mobos work with both 64 and 32 bit chips? I would prefer 32
    > bit, but could I upgrade to a 64 bit chip later on?


    I don't think so. Since AMD64 is totally backwards-combatible with
    x86-32, there's no reason to buy a 32-bit CPU. Hell, I don't think you
    can buy a new 32-bit x86 CPU without going to specialized vendors.

    > What kind of interfaces for peripherals should I be looking for?


    SATA ports, enough USB2 ports, and make sure there are PS/2 ports just
    in case. Modify if you have ancient 9-pin or 25-pin equipment lying
    around. If you have more than 2 older IDE devices, make sure there are
    2 IDE channels. Some newer boards only have 1. HTH,

    --
    Love is a laser.
    DO NOT LOOK INTO LASER WITH REMAINING HEART.
    --Tori and Greg Andrews
    Matt G|There is no Darkness in Eternity/But only Light too dim for us to see

  3. Re: Recommendations for N00b try at DIY

    On Mon, 16 Jul 2007 20:28:31 +0000, Rockinghorse Winner wrote:

    > I am going to try my hand at building a pc. I think I can handle the
    > mechanical chore of screwing it all together, but am trying to make
    > sense of the vast array of mobo's out there. I am looking for board in
    > the <100.00 range that will work with the major cpu's and be compatible
    > with Linux. I want to keep the project under $500. Any recommendations?
    > Also, are there any other h/w *gotcha's* I should be aware of before I
    > start collecting the h/w? Do the mobos work with both 64 and 32 bit
    > chips? I would prefer 32 bit, but could I upgrade to a 64 bit chip
    > later on? What kind of interfaces for peripherals should I be looking
    > for?
    >
    > *R* *H*


    Modern CPUs are all 64 bit, your choices are Intel Core2 or AMD Athlon 64
    X2s. AMD just cut their prices, Intel has a huge price cut coming on the
    22nd. The Intel Core2s are the best performing chips these days but at
    the low end, where you are looking, the price/performance should be
    comparable (when doing the comparison remember that Intel is about 25%
    faster on a clock for clock basis so a 2GHz Core2 will be about equal to
    a 2.5GHz A64 X2). Also the Intel Core2 has a lot of overclocking room,
    the AMD chips tend not to have any.

    For AMD processors you want an Nvidia Nforce chipset. There will be
    absolutely no Linux problems with an Nforce board. For Intel you should
    pick a board with a 965 Northbridge and an ICH8 or ICH8R Southbridge. The
    8R has more SATA ports but the boards will cost you a little more. If you
    don't mind spending another $30 that's what you should do. There is a
    newer Intel chipset that has appeared but I can't tell if there are any
    Linux issues with it. One more thing about Intel boards, you need to use
    the very newest distros, Fedora 7 for example, or you'll have to upgrade
    the kernel in order to get the ethernet to work. The MACs on the Intel
    boards require 2.6.19 or better. The FC6 installer has 2.6.18 as does
    CentOS5. The AMD Nforce boards should work with any reasonably recent
    distro.

    For graphics I always use Nvidia. For 2D only the kernel drivers work
    fine. For 3D and improved 2D you'll want to use the Nvidia binary
    drivers. For Fedora you can either get them using the Livna repositories
    or you can download Nvidia's installer (that's what I do). For Ubuntu
    they are in the restricted driver repository. The Intel graphics chips
    are completely open source so they would be the least amount of hassle,
    however they are considerably slower then Nvidia's. Given your budget you
    might want to pick a motherboard that has on board Intel graphics, that
    will save you about $100.

    For brands I like MSI. You should avoid ABIT at all costs, they have
    terrible Linux compatiblity. ASUS has a good reputation, I haven't used
    any of their boards but I haven;t heard anything bad about them.

    For buying the parts, in the US Newegg is the place to do it. They have a
    great website that will allow you to pick the features you want and to
    read a lot of user reviews for each component, they also deliver
    amazingly quickly, at least half of my orders have arrived in a day or
    less. Even if you are not in the US you should use Newegg to do your
    research. When looking at motherboard reviews you should search for the
    word Linux, usually a Linux user will have posted a review. If you don't
    find a Linux review then look at a different board.




  4. Re: Recommendations for N00b try at DIY

    On Tue, 17 Jul 2007 00:33:53 +0000, General Schvantzkoph wrote:

    > On Mon, 16 Jul 2007 20:28:31 +0000, Rockinghorse Winner wrote:
    >
    >> I am going to try my hand at building a pc. I think I can handle the
    >> mechanical chore of screwing it all together, but am trying to make
    >> sense of the vast array of mobo's out there. I am looking for board in
    >> the <100.00 range that will work with the major cpu's and be compatible
    >> with Linux. I want to keep the project under $500. Any
    >> recommendations?
    >> Also, are there any other h/w *gotcha's* I should be aware of before I
    >> start collecting the h/w? Do the mobos work with both 64 and 32 bit
    >> chips? I would prefer 32 bit, but could I upgrade to a 64 bit chip
    >> later on? What kind of interfaces for peripherals should I be looking
    >> for?
    >>
    >> *R* *H*

    >
    > Modern CPUs are all 64 bit, your choices are Intel Core2 or AMD Athlon
    > 64 X2s. AMD just cut their prices, Intel has a huge price cut coming on
    > the 22nd. The Intel Core2s are the best performing chips these days but
    > at the low end, where you are looking, the price/performance should be
    > comparable (when doing the comparison remember that Intel is about 25%
    > faster on a clock for clock basis so a 2GHz Core2 will be about equal to
    > a 2.5GHz A64 X2). Also the Intel Core2 has a lot of overclocking room,
    > the AMD chips tend not to have any.
    >
    > For AMD processors you want an Nvidia Nforce chipset. There will be
    > absolutely no Linux problems with an Nforce board. For Intel you should
    > pick a board with a 965 Northbridge and an ICH8 or ICH8R Southbridge.
    > The 8R has more SATA ports but the boards will cost you a little more.
    > If you don't mind spending another $30 that's what you should do. There
    > is a newer Intel chipset that has appeared but I can't tell if there are
    > any Linux issues with it. One more thing about Intel boards, you need to
    > use the very newest distros, Fedora 7 for example, or you'll have to
    > upgrade the kernel in order to get the ethernet to work. The MACs on the
    > Intel boards require 2.6.19 or better. The FC6 installer has 2.6.18 as
    > does CentOS5. The AMD Nforce boards should work with any reasonably
    > recent distro.
    >
    > For graphics I always use Nvidia. For 2D only the kernel drivers work
    > fine. For 3D and improved 2D you'll want to use the Nvidia binary
    > drivers. For Fedora you can either get them using the Livna repositories
    > or you can download Nvidia's installer (that's what I do). For Ubuntu
    > they are in the restricted driver repository. The Intel graphics chips
    > are completely open source so they would be the least amount of hassle,
    > however they are considerably slower then Nvidia's. Given your budget
    > you might want to pick a motherboard that has on board Intel graphics,
    > that will save you about $100.
    >
    > For brands I like MSI. You should avoid ABIT at all costs, they have
    > terrible Linux compatiblity. ASUS has a good reputation, I haven't used
    > any of their boards but I haven;t heard anything bad about them.
    >
    > For buying the parts, in the US Newegg is the place to do it. They have
    > a great website that will allow you to pick the features you want and to
    > read a lot of user reviews for each component, they also deliver
    > amazingly quickly, at least half of my orders have arrived in a day or
    > less. Even if you are not in the US you should use Newegg to do your
    > research. When looking at motherboard reviews you should search for the
    > word Linux, usually a Linux user will have posted a review. If you don't
    > find a Linux review then look at a different board.


    One more thing, all drives including the DVD should be SATA. Modern
    boards only have one PATA connector and on the Intel boards there are
    driver issues with the chip that is commonly used to provide this
    function.

  5. Re: Recommendations for N00b try at DIY

    On Mon, 16 Jul 2007 20:28:31 +0000, Rockinghorse Winner wrote:

    > I am going to try my hand at building a pc. I think I can handle the
    > mechanical chore of screwing it all together, but am trying to make sense of
    > the vast array of mobo's out there. I am looking for board in the <100.00
    > range that will work with the major cpu's and be compatible with Linux. I
    > want to keep the project under $500. Any recommendations? Also, are there
    > any other h/w *gotcha's* I should be aware of before I start collecting the
    > h/w? Do the mobos work with both 64 and 32 bit chips? I would prefer 32
    > bit, but could I upgrade to a 64 bit chip later on? What kind of interfaces
    > for peripherals should I be looking for?
    >
    > *R* *H*


    Have you considered doing a 'bare bones' system? Usually that consists of
    case, power supply, motherboard - you add the rest. Simplifies things
    somewhat.


  6. Re: Recommendations for N00b try at DIY

    I demand that General Schvantzkoph may or may not have written...

    [snip]
    > For graphics I always use Nvidia. For 2D only the kernel drivers work fine.
    > For 3D and improved 2D you'll want to use the Nvidia binary drivers.


    Or you could go for a low-end ATI card. The R300 driver is still
    work-in-progress and has the odd bug, but my X300 is adequate for what I want
    of it (and drives two displays well).

    [snip]
    > The Intel graphics chips are completely open source so they would be the
    > least amount of hassle, [...]


    No argument there, though dual-head support is a bit of a sticking point for
    me: I know that the Intel graphics hardware can do it, it's just a matter of
    there being two monitor sockets...

    > For brands I like MSI. You should avoid ABIT at all costs, they have
    > terrible Linux compatiblity.


    Hmm? My current board is a ABIT KN8; I've had no problems with it so far.

    [snip]
    --
    | Darren Salt | linux or ds at | nr. Ashington, | Toon
    | RISC OS, Linux | youmustbejoking,demon,co,uk | Northumberland | Army
    | + At least 4000 million too many people. POPULATION LEVEL IS UNSUSTAINABLE.

    Stop it, stop it, far too silly, far too silly...

  7. Re: Recommendations for N00b try at DIY

    In comp.os.linux.hardware, Dances With Crows had the audacity to say that:

    > I don't think so. Since AMD64 is totally backwards-combatible with
    > x86-32, there's no reason to buy a 32-bit CPU. Hell, I don't think you
    > can buy a new 32-bit x86 CPU without going to specialized vendors.


    Thanks for all the info.

    I thought most of the Intel chips sold today are 32 bit

    *R* *H*

    --
    I tell ya, I was an ugly kid. I was so ugly that my dad kept the kid's
    picture that came with the wallet he bought.
    -- Rodney Dangerfield

  8. Re: Recommendations for N00b try at DIY

    In comp.os.linux.hardware, ray had the audacity to say that:

    >
    > Have you considered doing a 'bare bones' system? Usually that consists of
    > case, power supply, motherboard - you add the rest. Simplifies things
    > somewhat.
    >


    Thanks for all the suggestions. It will be a big help to me as I begin
    sorting out my options. This is going to be alot of fun, as well as a
    chance to learn a bit more about the h/w side of things. I plan on going
    nice and slow and reading up on everything. If I have any problems, I know
    I can post them here and get up to date advice.

    The bare bone system approach is tempting but i don't want to deprive myself
    of the satisfaction of doing it *all!*



    *R* *H*


    --
    I think there's a world market for about five computers.
    -- attr. Thomas J. Watson (Chairman of the Board, IBM), 1943

  9. Re: Recommendations for N00b try at DIY

    In comp.os.linux.hardware, Oldtech had the audacity to say that:

    >
    > I am thrilled with my MSI-K8NGM2-FID main board. I bought it from
    > http://ebtech.com with the installed and tested Sempron 3000+ 64 bit CPU
    > in socket 939 pin, with the AMD approved fan, delivered, $89.00.
    >
    > I am in Florida.
    >
    > This board has PS2 mouse and keyboard; SATA RAID; 2 USB ports, one
    > Firewire port, nVidia 6150 DVI and SVGA video out, plus more. It does
    > take upto 4 sticks of DDR RAM. (sets of two, in purple and in green
    > slots for dual channel). I stuck in PC3200 (400Mhz) in two sticks of
    > 256 Mb, and two sticks of 128MB, for a total of 768MB RAM. 64MB is used
    > for onboard Video, leaving 704 MB for system.


    It sounds, great Oldtech. I'm going to need a serial port (rs232?) does it
    have one of those? Also does the onboard video include support for Nvidia
    3D? I'm going to need a wifi capability, my main method of connecting to the
    net. How is this board with wifi? How are the sound capabilities?


    >
    > First released and reviewed in Feb. 2006, some might think it a bit
    > 'old'. Thus, the reason it is less expensive. Many of the prices of
    > the products at 3Btech appear OK in comparison with vendors Newegg, and
    > others at http://pricewatch.com
    >
    >
    >
    > Read about it at:
    > http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p...del=K8NGM2-FID

    *R* *H*


    --
    I think there's a world market for about five computers.
    -- attr. Thomas J. Watson (Chairman of the Board, IBM), 1943

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